It is an encounter with fragments of everyday life, through shabby, useless or still useful materials, a close and physical contact with their potential and shortcomings, seeing them become "other", when they generate new synergies and new relationships between various elements assembled. Fragments of a dispersed totality, children of continuous experimentation and constant research. The theme of the exhibition is assembly, in the contribution that Louise Nevelson, absolute protagonist of Abstract Expressionism in American art, has given. Working with found or discarded materials, Nevelson (stage name of Leah Berliawsky born in 1899 in Kiev and died in New York in 1989) invented the new and radical language of assemblage, with which he transformed and transfigured the "debris ”Of daily life making them become pure form.
Many materials she uses retain a domestic reference: objects that derive, or make indirect allusions, to the space of her home, works related to her status as a woman and her commitment in the domestic sphere, materials similar to those used by post-war Italian artists (for example from the Arte Povera artistic movement).
The Procuratie Vecchie
On display over sixty pieces (including assemblages, collages and monumental painted sculptures) that tell the art of Nevelson from the 50s to the 80s, installed in nine rooms of the Procuratie Vecchie overlooking Piazza San Marco, the subject of a recent restoration signed by David Chipperfield (read In Venice the new old Procuratie). Each room focuses on specific thematic connections and resonances, not following a strict chronology but emphasizing formal and conceptual resonances between the works and between the different periods of his artistic career.
New chromatic relationships
Among the themes touched upon, the artist's dedication (especially in the last decade of his life) to two-dimensional assemblages intended to be mounted on the wall. Objects that almost all belong to the production of the 80s, among Nevelson's lesser known works, yet significant in the context of her more mature practice, in a period in which she was facing increasing physical limitations. In her collage-based works, the artist escapes the habit of painting the work in a single color. Instead, a range of different colors, from metal to raw wood, defines a more complex set of chromatic relationships, directing towards a more articulated understanding of her formal approach.
A section of the exhibition is dedicated to collages: the artist continued to create two-dimensional collages throughout his career. The exhibition gathers them made with cardboard, paper, metal leaf, sandpaper, ribbon, fibers, wood always between the 50s and 80s. Works that offered her the possibility of working with a range of materials with important graphic potential, but also the chance to experiment with color and its variations.